Posts by David Forrest

Smart Cities

Integral Strategy Network is working in many ways with communities who want to collaborate at a higher level to improve quality of life and opportunity. Some of these initiatives address immediate social, economic and environmental challenges. Others are more focused on the future. Some of the communities we work with – like Brandon, Manitoba –…

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Four Doors to the Future

We now face many complex challenges, and there are reasons to be both pessimistic and optimistic. The outcome will depend on our commitment to take action. Experience has shown we can tackle the most difficult challenges when we work together. ISN is privileged to work with organizations and communities that are collaborating intentionally to create…

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High-Performing Teams

Increasingly, we rely on teams to design and implement change. Research has shown that high-performing teams have special properties — strong interpersonal skills and equal opportunity to contribute. Integral Strategy Network uses processes that foster authentic dialogue and effective collaboration. We have seen first-hand how working this way helps organizations and communities get better results…

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A Story of Improvisation: The Epic Journey of Apollo 13

People are largely unaware of their true strengths. These strengths are often revealed when they confront difficult challenges — a moment of truth. The same is true of organizations. Teams often demonstrate unexpected abilities by multiplying the individual strengths of team members. We see this in our work, where clients challenged to find solutions to…

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Take on a Challenge

Integral Strategy Network works with organizations and communities facing wicked problems where collective action is needed. Tackling a challenge together increases collaboration — focusing the efforts of diverse stakeholders and creating a strong sense of shared purpose. Audacious challenges inspire people to think bigger, and often result in breakthrough innovations. Challenges are a proven way…

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Other Ways of Knowing

The Integral Strategy process creates a space for people to come together in community in a way that acknowledges every person and values their gifts. Authentic dialogue is the foundation of our practice. There is much we can learn from cultures who live these values, and from ways of knowing that connect us at a…

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Once in a Lifetime

It has been said organizations exist to allow us to do things together we could never accomplish on our own. Yet many of our organizations are dysfunctional. They deprive us of the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships and to be present in ways that fully acknowledge who we are. Research shows we learn better, work…

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Engaging With Complex Systems

Messes Russell Ackoff – an iconic pioneer in systems thinking – called them messes.”[N]o problem ever exists in complete isolation,” he wrote in Redesigning the Future: A Systems Approach to Societal Problems (1974). “Every problem interacts with every other problem and is therefore part of a set of interrelated problems, a system of problems. Furthermore,…

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All That Jazz

“Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.” Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk reflected on the mystery of this quintessential American music. Trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis once said: “When you hit a wrong note it’s the next note that makes…

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The Commons

The challenge of collaboration takes many forms. One of these is how we treat the commons. We struggle to protect shared spaces because we largely act out of self-interest. There are alternatives however. A growing urban movement is experimenting with different ways of living. Seoul, South Korea has been called the world’s most wired city.…

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